Telangana

Employees boycott work against privatisation of power sector

Employees of power utilities participating in a protest meeting against the privatisation policies of the Centre at Mint Compound in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Employees of power utilities participating in a protest meeting against the privatisation policies of the Centre at Mint Compound in Hyderabad on Wednesday.  

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The engineers, employees and artisans, except those in shift duties, working for all power utilities in Telangana have boycotted work and staged mass demonstrations across the State on Wednesday, protesting against the privatisation policies of the Central government.

All the 22 unions and associations of Telangana power utilities’ employees have supported and participated in the protest call given by the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE). The work boycott and demonstrations were held at all offices of the power utilities, including all the thermal and hydel power stations.

G. Saibabu, E. Sridhar, P. Ratnakar Rao, P. Sadanandam, B.C. Reddy, M.A. Vazeer, E. Srinivas and several others of various unions and associations said they had boycotted work in response to a call given by NCCOEEE, a united platform of unions and federations of electricity employees and engineers. The power sector employees are fighting against the Central government’s move to pass the Electricity (Amendment) Bill as well as bringing in other privatisation policies which, they alleged, are against the interests of power utilities, consumers and employees.

They stated that most of the amendments proposed in the Electricity Act 2003 and National Tariff Policy are against the interests of consumers with the worst part being introduction of supply licenses, under which private players would only meter and supply power to the consumer from the nearby pole or transformer. The distribution companies (Discoms) would maintain the power distribution network and the private companies would make heavy profits without any investment from high-end consumers and the supply obligation of subsidised power would be left with the Discoms.

The proposed amendments would phase out subsidy and cross-subsidy in power distribution in a period of three years and it would become costly to the consumers. Further, the amendments would also eat into the role of regulatory commissions as they would be forced only to follow the NTP. Other main demands of power employees include integration of all power utilities in States, review of power purchase agreements in the interests of people, revival of old pension scheme to all electricity employees, equal wage for equal work, among others.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:12:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/employees-boycott-work-against-privatisation-of-power-sector/article30517406.ece

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